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2018 Liga MX Liguilla Final recap: Club Santos Laguna 2, Toluca FC 1

Santos and Toluca square off in the first leg of the 2018 Liga MX Liguilla Final

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America v Santos Laguna - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Match Recap

The match started off with a fireworks display, had some firecracker goals, and ended with fireworks between the teams. Initially the pace of the game was a bit slow, with both teams measuring each other out, taking their time in looking for advantages. In the third minute however Toluca almost struck. A shot from Luis Quiñones clattered off of the crossbar and out.

Santos would dodge another couple of bullets when in the fifth minute Rubens Sambueza made his defender miss and went in on goal. He drew Jonathan Orozco off of his line and hit a shot that bounced off of the far post. Toluca had opportunities to score on the rebound, but shots by Fernando Uribe and Quiñones were blocked by Gerardo Alcoba and Carlos Izquierdoz respectively.

The next few minutes were largely filled with positional battles, with the teams attempting to work the ball down the field only to be met with stiff defensive opposition. There was a bit of controversy in the 24th minute when Brian Lozano went in on goal and appeared to be pushed from behind, but referee Fernando Guerrero did not blow the whistle.

After a brief hydration break Santos seemed to regain some of the momentum back, winning a couple of corner kicks on shots that were deflected out. Somewhat isolated early in the match, Djaniny Tavares was able to get some space to work, sending shots in at goal.

Toluca had a decent chance in the 43rd minute, when Quiñones got his head onto a crossed ball but redirected it wide of Orozco’s net. Neither side showed their best as the first half ended, although Toluca was the better of the two over the first 45 mintues.

Shortly after play resumed, Djaniny played a great cross into the box, but Julio Furch’s header took a deflection and went out. Play opened up a little bit, with both sides controlling the ball better and establishing flow to the game.

In the 52nd minute, Toluca would finally get onto the board when Quiñones was played in perfectly. He hit a shot near side that beat Orozco and the guests were up 1-0.

Santos almost got the equalizer in the 62nd minute when a Brian Lozano shot from distance was saved by Alfredo Talavera. The rebound came out to Djaniny, but his shot was deflected out.

In the 72nd minute Santos would get the equalizer. Talavera came out past the 18 to try and clear a pass to Djaniny, but the Guerrero beat him to the ball and controlled it with a fantastic touch. With Tala beaten, Djaniny was able to settle the ball down and hit it into the open net.

Minutes later, Leonel López almost regained the lead on a shot from the top of the box that hooked just wide.

Santos was almost able to add another in the 85th minute when captain Carlos Izquierdoz got his head on a corner kick, but unfortunately for the home fans his effort went just wide. In the 89th minute though it would be Julio Furch’s deft touch that would put the hosts up.

Immediately after the goal, the lights on the large stand had gone out, causing a few minutes delay. During the six minutes of stoppage time, tempers flared between the two sides after a particularly hard foul on Edwin Cetré by Santiago García. García was shown a card, but not before getting into the faces of several Santos players.

Time would expire before any more goals were scored or any more cards were shown, and the sides head to Toluca with Santos leading 2-1 after the first 90 minutes.

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club S.A. de C.V

Date: Thursday, May 17th

Time: 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Alberto Morin Méndez, AR2: Pablo Israel Hernández Luna, 4TH: Adonai Escobedo Gonzalez

Television: Univision (US-Spanish), Univision Deportes Network (US - Spanish), ESPN2 (Mexico), Azteca Siete (Mexico)

Streaming: Fanatiz, fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling (Free trial + monthly subscription), Univision NOW


Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jesús Angulo, Gerardo Alcoba, Carlos Izquierdoz, José Abella; Osvaldo Martínez, José Juan Vázquez, Brian Lozano; Jonathan Rodríguez (Jesús Isijara, 63’), Julio Furch, Djaniny Tavares (Edwin Cetré, 81’)

Toluca FC: Alfredo Talavera; Cristian Borja, Santiago García, Osvaldo González, Rodrigo Salinas; Antonio Ríos, Leonel López; Luis Quiñones (Maximiliano Perg, 90+6’), Pablo Barrientos (Jorge Sartiaguín, 77’), Rubens Sambueza; Fernando Uribe

Scoring: Santos Laguna - Djaniny Tavares (71’), Julio Furch (89’); Toluca FC - Luis Quiñones (54’)

Disciplinary: Santos Laguna - Jesús Angulo (Yellow - 68’); Toluca FC - Luis Quiñones (Yellow - 67’), Santiago García (Yellow - 90+2’)